Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 7, 2014

GC Basketball: Hubbard girls storm back to beat Wortham

By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun

WORTHAM — Kendall Cotton, who wanted a pick-and-roll play, had just started to shout the play when he saw th ball leave Nakaila Banks’ hands.

“It was one of those, No! No! No! — Yes! plays,’’ said Cotten, who watched Banks bust the biggest 3-pointer of the night, a shot that hit the bottom of the net with 2:30 left to play and lifted Hubbard to a 47-43 lead over Wortham in a classic battle Tuesday night.

That shot — the one Cotten didn’t want — was the catalyst Hubbard needed to complete a 51-45 comeback win in the Wortham gym, where the Lady Jags trailed most of the night.

“It was unbelievable,’’ said Banks of her shot and the comeback. “That sparked it u for us. I was pumped. After I hit that shot I got pumped.’’

Banks, who scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the pivotal third quarter, led the comeback.

Hubbard, ranked No. 5 in the Class 1A DI state poll, was down 30-18 early in the third, but Banks hit a pair of 3s to ignite a 19-8 run and the Lady Jags went to the fourth quarter down,38-37.

“We never gave up. We just kept fighting,’’ said Jasmine Parks, who dropped in 13 points. “When (Banks) hit that 3, it was amazing.

“It was huge, a huge win for us because we have never beaten Wortham since we have been in high school,’’ said Parks, a senior.  

Banks’ 3 gave Hubbard a 47-43 lead and after Courtney Chasteen cut the lead to 47-45 with an inside shot for Wortham, Tysheuanna Hawthorne hit a baseline drive with 1:25 left to keep it a four-point game.  

“I have been challenging her,’’ Cotten said of Hawthorne. “I’ve been telling her that big-time players make plays in big games. She was a big-time player tonight.”

Hubbard is now 15-1 and 2-0 in the District 18 1A DI race, which Cotten feels can be the most competitive 1A girls race in Texas.

“It’s going to be a battle in this district,’’ he said. “I knew this game would be a battle. I know how good Wortham is and they are well coached. And they are really hard to beat in their gym. I felt if we could come in here and steal one it would do us a lot of good. It will really help build our confidence and it will be huge for our psyche.’’

Wortham (1-1 in the district race) was led by Kiarra Busby, who scored 12 points, and Elisha Libhart, who followed with 11 points. Sara Session dropped in nine points and Kamarie Freeman added seven wile Chasteen finished with six.

Hawthorne finished with nine points for Hubbard and Shayla Parks (4), Kate Saucke (2) and Tia Parks (2) also scored for Hubbard.

The Lady Jags will try to take the momentum of the win into Friday’s game against Cayuga and keep rising because they meet Kerens next Tuesday in the Kerens gym. The LadyCats, who ripped Cross Roads 55-17 on Tuesday, haven’t lost a district game in more than three years and beat Hubbard by a lopsided score in the Kiwanis Tournament over the Christmas break.

All Hubbard wanted to think about on Tuesday was getting the big win on the road against Wortham.

“I’m just so proud of our girls,’’ Cotten said. “They never  quit. We’ve been down before this year and came back and won. We were down by 20 to Waco Connally and came back and won, and they came back tonight. They haven’t quit all year.’’

Jasmine Parks said it best as she left the guym.

“This was amazing, and amazing win,’’ she said. “I’m speechless.